In a short documentary on the 30th anniversary of the film, the director John Korty says that after the film debuted white callers inundated radio talk shows saying, "I didn't realize. . . " in regards to the struggles that African Americans went through. Likewise, Odetta, who portrayed Big Laura, essentially voiced why Gaines decided to start writing. She says, "The book is telling me other than what I seen in movies." The film's impact could clearly be seen during the 1974 Emmy Awards where it was nominated for 12 awards and won 9 of them, including the Best Actress award fro Cicely Tyson's portrayal of Miss Jane.
Gaines, Ernest J. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. New York: Bantam Books, 1972. Print.
Unger, Arthur. "110-year walk to a fountain." The Christian Science Moniter. [Boston, MA] 30 Jan. 1974: F6. Print.